Sarah D. started All Is Well Healing in 2016, when caring for her toddler son and dealing with a prolonged illness forced her to start working from home. Since then, her eBay business has allowed her to pay her bills and cover her medical expenses. When the pandemic hit and supply of her inventory was severely disrupted, she quickly pivoted and added artwork to her store, to great success. In 2021, Sarah was awarded one of 50 eBay Up & Running Grants to help keep her business open during the pandemic.
Equitable Entrepreneurship: Empowering Women Through eCommerce Report
While the pandemic impacted people across the US from every walk of life and segment of society, from early on it became clear that women were disproportionately impacted economically and socially. This report explores how selling on eBay, whether to run or build a small business, or just as an individual to earn extra income, proved helpful to women during the pandemic. It allowed women to earn income, support their family or small businesses, and work flexibly and safely from home at a time when many were burdened by increased household and childcare responsibilities.
Notable findings include 69 percent of women surveyed for this report said that the ability to sell on eBay was a benefit during the pandemic; 73 percent cited the need to earn income for themselves or revenue for their businesses as top motivating factors for selling on eBay; and 74 percent reported the ability to work from home is a benefit to selling on eBay that is important to them. For women who indicated that they were new to selling on eBay or who increased their selling as a result of the pandemic, 82 percent said that they did so because of job loss, reduction in income, illness, loss of childcare, or some other hardship.
The ability for sellers to use ecommerce to reach beyond their local markets also took on special importance during the pandemic, and the report examines trade data for US women-owned eBay-enabled small businesses to illustrate how connecting with global shoppers has consistently been an important part of the eBay marketplace. For example, 97 percent of US women-owned eBay-enabled small businesses exported in 2019 – a far higher rate than businesses that have not embraced online tools – and reached on average 16 different countries, again dwarfing traditional export reach.
Supporting our vibrant, creative and compassionate community of sellers during difficult times has always been a top eBay priority. We remain committed to tirelessly using technology to empower women and foster equitable entrepreneurship across America and around the world.
Meet Some of Our Sellers
My business would not have survived during the world crisis if it wasn’t for eBay. My store was weeks from being closed, my credit cards were all maxed out, and I had trouble sourcing more inventory. Buying and re-selling on eBay allowed my son and I to keep our home and business running. I've also brought in many new customer friends and grown in confidence as a single mother and a small business owner. No matter what things looked like in front of me I kept holding trust and faith that we would make it through, and at nearly the very last second that miracle did manifest. I'm grateful for eBay.
Prior to selling on eBay, Monica Gamboa spent 17 years as a sales coach and a branch manager for Wells Fargo bank. As the single mother of a young son, Monica had already begun to consider a career change. She needed a job with a flexible schedule that allowed her to be more involved and present in her son’s life. After reading a book called eBay Millionaires about how to resell items online, Monica thought that eBay might be something worth pursuing. She cautiously began selling some of her own items on the site, mostly old clothing and was shocked and delighted when she made $21,000 in sales her first month. Feeling confident that this was the flexible career for which she had been hoping, Monica left her bank job in 2002 and opened The Posh Hanger, specializing in thrifted and vintage fashion.
eBay has made it easy to balance my life as a single mother and a small business owner. It has allowed my business to reach a worldwide audience, something I would have never been able to do on my own. Now, I can compete with big name retailers!
Sandra Gustard is a London native who started selling clothes and shoes from her favorite London spots after moving to New York City in 1997. Following her success in fashion, she decided to branch into beauty and wellness, developing her own products using pimento oil and selling them on eBay. Sandra credits eBay with giving her small company the chance to compete with large retailers.
Shipping internationally through eBay has integrated my small business into the global economy. Pimento oil is gaining a lot of universal attention and eBay has allowed me to connect easily with customers around the world, increasing my businesses’ profits, and elevating brand recognition.
For the two decades she served in the US Air Force, Liz O’Kane was used to taking orders. So, when she was deciding on a post-service career, she knew she wanted to be her own boss. While serving in the US Air Force and raising a family, Liz O’Kane fell in love with eBay and started selling in 2002. After retiring from the military in 2016, Liz decided to turn her passion from a side hustle into a full-time entrepreneurial venture, mastering eBay and expanding to nine other platforms. Selling on eBay gave Liz the freedom she was looking for and connected her with a community she did not expect.
Pre-pandemic, I spent most of my time shopping in thrift stores to find those one-of-a-kind items I wanted for my store. When COVID-19 hit and forced stores to close, it changed everything about how I sourced the inventory for my store. eBay connected me with a community of small business owners facing a similar issue. This community of sellers helped me find innovative ways to shift my store model and locate new ways to source inventory, keeping my store up and running.
In 1997 Jess Pate first used eBay while attending Wake Forest University to find a favorite out-of-print book. Feeling lucky, she decided to list an old pair of cowboy boots on the platform. The boots sold quickly and generated an $80 profit. Jess was hooked and began buying and selling clothes frequently on the site to make extra money. Over the years, Jess continued to sell online, but it wasn’t until she became pregnant with her first child that she began to see her “hobby” as something with true potential. She wanted the flexibility of creating her own hours and schedule, all while accommodating her growing family. Jess decided to take the leap and has been selling full-time ever since. Her business has grown so much that she plans to build a new operating space in the coming months and is proud that it provides flexible employment not only for her, but for members of her community as well.
I have always taken pride in the fact that I am a female small business owner. But as a mother, I worried how I would be able to run my business and take care of my kids who were now home from school due to COVID-19. eBay makes everything so easy; I didn’t miss a step in keeping my business afloat while being able to provide and care for my family.
Sign Up for eBay Main Street
When it comes to ecommerce, legislators have immense power. If you sell online, you’re probably already aware that legislators can affect your bottom line – and even threaten your company’s very existence – by creating unfair commerce policies.
The best way to protect yourself and ecommerce is to make your voice heard in the halls of power. Signing up for Main Street can help you do just that.